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Tsukiji Fish Market

The Tsukiji Fish Market was recently in the news for selling the first Bluefin tuna of 2013 for 1.78 million US dollars. It is a wholesale market, selling not only fish, but fruits, vegetables, and flowers as well. It has recently announced its relocation to Toyosu before mid-2016.

The market itself comprises an inner, “business” section where the famous auctions occur, as well as an outer, “public” section, with restaurants and retail shops. It is an atmospheric and bustling place, making it popular with visitors. In actual fact, its popularity has been fairly unexpected, and the number of daily visitors has started to interfere with regular business activities. To avoid this, there are certain rules that you need to follow when you visit the different sections of the fish market:

Tuna auctions in the inner section
Only 120 tourists are allowed to watch the auction each day. If you would like to apply for a ticket, go to the nearby Kachidoki Gate Information Center, which opens at 5:00 in the morning. Tickets are free, but only 120 are allocated on any given day. If you arrive too late, you may miss out. Tourists are allowed to enter the auction in two groups: the first admission is from 5:25 to 5:50 AM, with the second admission from 5:50 to 6:15 AM. Once inside, you must remain within the area assigned for visitors. Flash photography is strictly forbidden, as is interfering with proceedings in any way.

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Tsukiji’s wholesale area
Here, you will see people rushing between long rows of wholesale stands, anxious to get the best goods. All of this bustle makes it exciting to watch, but please be aware that it’s very easy to get in the way of proceedings here.

For the sake of safety and efficiency, tourists may not enter this area prior to 9:00 in the morning, which is when the market is at its busiest. Even after 9:00 a.m., please do not bring large bags into the area. Remain vigilant at all times, so that you do not block anybody’s cart.

The outer area
Tsukiji’s outer market is right next to the wholesale area, and is specifically intended for tourists. Here you will find narrow lanes of restaurants and small retail outlets. You can purchase fresh produce and seafood, along with many kitchen tools.

The best way to visit the Tsukiji Fish Market is to combine your trip with a delicious sushi meal. The restaurants open at about 5:00 AM and generally serve diners until the early afternoon. The ingredients simply could not be any fresher!

General tips for your visit to the Tsukiji Fish Market
Please refrain from smoking.
Remain in the tourist-designated areas at all times.
Be wary of the traffic around you.
Please do not touch anything.
Don?t bring any bulky items into the marketplace.
For safety, please wear closed shoes.
Because of the forklifts and motorized carts, the area is not safe for animals or small children.

Getting to the Tsukiji Fish Market
Subway:
Take the Oedo Subway line to Tsukiji Shijo station. The market is right above this station. Alternatively, take the Hibiya Subway line to Tsukiji station. The market is about a 5 minute walk from there.

From Tokyo Station
Take the Marunouchi Subway line to Ginza station. Change to the Hibiya Subway line, before alighting at Tsukiji station. The total time spent in the subway will be less than 10 minutes, and the fare costs 160 yen.

From Shinjuku Station
Take the Oedo Subway line straight to Tsukiji Shijo station. This is a 20-minute trip and costs 260 yen.

The nearest JR station to the market is Shimbashi. The market is a 15-minute walk from there.

Opening Hours/Fees
Admission is free.
Outer Market Area: Generally open from 5:00 to 14:00. Opening times for individual restaurants and shops may vary.
Wholesale Area: Open to tourists after 9:00 in the morning.
Tuna Auction: Open between 5:25 and 6:15 in the morning, to a limited number of ticket holders.

Closures
Closed on Sundays, public holidays, and sometimes on Wednesdays as well.
The market?s busiest time of year is the December/January period. Typically, the tuna auction is closed to visitors for several weeks during this time.

Accommodation
Many visitors to this area stay in Shiodome, which is a 10-minute walk from the Tsukiji Fish Market. There are a number of stylish hotels and restaurants here, with covered access to Shimbashi rail station.  Before choosing a place to stay we recommend checking out the page on Tokyo hotels.